Doctor’s Fury at Tory Benefit Threat

Hannah Fearn writing in The Independent today – More than sixty leading doctors have attacked the Conservative Party’s plans to examine whether people with mental health, drug or alcohol problems should be forced to take up treatment.

Top figures in health care, including the psychoanalyst Susie Orbach (pictured), say the manifesto pledge to consider reducing or withdrawing benefits for those who refuse treatment “undermines a fundamental principle” of medical care – the ability to give informed consent.

Susie OrbachThe letter, signed by GPs, public health specialists and psychiatrists, argues that it is “wholly inappropriate to threaten the withdrawal of benefits in order to influence that¬† decision”.

A spokesman for the Conservatives said: “It is not fair to ask hard-working taxpayers to fund the benefits of people who refuse to accept the support and treatment that could help them get back to a life of work.”

“Where on earth is this Tory party coming from? They are utterly opposed to putting the wellbeing of mentally ill and disabled people in front of their carte blanche authority to save money at their expense.”